This cucumber dill pasta salad with mozzarella is a lovely recipe perfect for your summer BBQs, picnics and outdoor dining. A vegetarian and low histamine salad that can easily be gluten-free using suitable pasta.
Salads are always perfect as a summer lunch, side or a dish to take to a BBQ or potluck, and I always think pasta salads are a crowd pleaser! You may also like to see my roasted vegetable pasta salad with a tahini dressing, and my turkey pasta salad is perfect for a Thanksgiving buffet!
This pasta salad focuses on light and fresh cucumber and radishes, and lots of herbs for a fun summer recipe that is so easy to put together.
- Pasta: use regular or gluten-free depending on dietary requirements.
- Mozzarella cheese: I use the small mozzarella balls and then halve them, but you can also use a regular-size ball and tear into small pieces.
- Cucumber: fresh and so healthy, perfect for hot summer days!
- Radishes: adds a tiny bit of heat with their peppery taste.
- Dill: fragrant and delicate, this herb is under-used in my opinion!
- Parsley: a real staple in salads, and a good source of vitamin C and K.
- Basil: a lovely flavour, and adds a little Italian flavour I feel!
The dressing is very simple, with extra virgin olive oil, a touch of vinegar, garlic and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you follow a low histamine diet and cannot tolerate vinegar then you can leave it out. Perhaps add a touch of apple juice for some tartness instead.
This is a fairly versatile pasta salad in term of the herbs, so you can make some swaps very easily. Adjust the quantities to those you prefer, or you may like to add in some coriander or mint too.
If you are gluten-free, then of course use a suitable pasta such as a brown rice or quinoa version.
Step by step instructions
This is a very easy summer pasta salad that has just three steps. For those who are not on a low histamine diet, and so don't have issues with histamine formation, you can make ahead for your picnic, BBQ side or outdoor dining in the warm weather!
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions in salted water. Drizzle on a little olive once cooked so that it doesn't stick together and then allow to cool.
- Make the salad dressing by combining those ingredients, and whisking together.
- Add the cooled pasta to a bowl, along with the other salad ingredients. Drizzle on the dressing and then toss to combine so it coats all the pasta and other ingredients.
- Allow the pasta to cool to room temperature before making the salad as it will heat up the herbs and cause them to wilt otherwise.
- Use gluten-free pasta to make it suitable for that dietary requirement.
- Adjust the amount of herbs to taste preference.
Gluten-free pasta options
There are lots of good gluten-free pasta options that will work wonderfully for this cucumber dill pasta salad. Some quinoa, brown rice and corn blends available:
Barilla gluten free elbows pasta (corn and rice flour)
Dill and a low histamine diet
Dill is one of the few herbs that doesn't rate as 0 on the SIGHI list, but as a '1' (their rating goes from 0-3). There is a note stating 'small amounts usually not a problem. High salicylate content'.
I asked on my Low Histamine Kitchen Instagram whether people were able to tolerate dill or not. From the responses given, 82% said yes, with 18% saying no.
Of course, only include in this recipe if you are able to tolerate dill. If you are unsure, I suggest speaking with a dietician.
More summer salads to enjoy
Cucumber dill pasta salad
- 3 cups pasta (uncooked weight)
- ½ cup small mozzarella balls halved
- ⅓ cucumber diced into half moons
- 6 radishes sliced
- ½ cup dill chopped
- ½ cup basil torn
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- handful arugula torn
For the dressing
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar adjust to preference
- 1 garlic clove minced or finely diced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper optional
- Cook your pasta according to packet instructions in salted water, a little past al dente so it remains soft when cooled. Once cooked, toss in a little olive oil to keep from sticking together. Set aside to cool.
- Make the dressing by combining the ingredients, and whisking thoroughly.
- Add the cooled pasta, herbs, cucumber, radishes and mozzarella to your bowl and drizzle over the dressing. Toss to combine, and so the pasta is well coated in the dressing. Add a touch more salt and pepper (if using) to preference.
- This makes quite a lot of the salad dressing, so you may have some to spare depending upon preference.
- Cook the pasta a little past al dente so it remains soft when it cools to room temperature.
- This is quite a 'herby' dish, reduce the amounts if you prefer.
- Dill is rated as a 1 on the SIGHI list, with a note stating that small amounts are well tolerated. If this recipe has too much for you then simply reduce and add in more basil or parsley.
- Apple cider vinegar scores 1 on the SIGHI list, if you prefer to stick to foods rated 0 then you may like to swap out for white distilled vinegar.
- dill, which scores 1.
- arugula is not rated.
- apple cider vinegar scores 1.
- garlic, which scores 1.
- black pepper, which scores 2.